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have control over american commerce and freedom of movement, there's always going to be a group of republican senators staunchly opposed. >> who are the key foreign policy and armed services senators that have to be won over in order for it to get passed by the senate? >> what we're seeing now is some very entrenched opposition led by two members of the foreign relations committee, senator james -- jim demint from south carolina, inhofe from oklahoma. they're really taking the lead on this. senator inhofe who also sits on armed services was one of the major opponents the last time around. they're joined by as many as 26 gop senators preparing a letter opposing the treaty right now that includes senate minority whip jon kyl and others. there's a group of gop senators who are on the fence, these include ranking republican john mccain and lindsey graham and some others and they have concerns with the treaty and want to make some changes to our document that ratifies the
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treaty, but they seem to be saying they can be won over. that's where the real action is at this moment. >> in your cable blog for foreign, you write that carl levin thinks there's two-thirds that will vote for it. you talked to senator mccain. he said he thinks a vote is going to happen during the lame duck session. is it because it's an election year it's tougher to do this year? >> there's a whole lot of political realties that factor into this. it's similar to the ratification drive for the start treaty that was ratified in 2010. that year was election year, and there was a very strong reluctance of senators to weigh in just before their election because there's no telling what effects that might have to the extent that voters are even paying attention to an issue like this. so what ended happening in 2010 was the nut treaty was ratified during the lame duck section after everybody had voted.
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a lot of people on capitol hill seem to think that's going to happen this year, that after the election in december, this is when this would get a vote. the democrats the imperative is to do this before the senate turns over possibly to republican control. once republicans have control of the committees, the treaty ratification effort will be pretty much dead. there's a lot of work to be done between now and then, a lot of education for a lot of new senators. more new senators than ever before. and it's not clear that they can get all of that done over this summer schedule which as everybody knows is a schedule that's sure to be impacted by the election spirit. >> josh rogin with foreign policy magazine, read his work at foreign thank you for the update. >> anytime. >> now live coverage of this morning's hearings here on c-span3.
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>> you all set?
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the hearing will come to order. thank you all very much for being here with us today. secretary clinton, secretary panetta, and general dempsey, welcome. we're particularly privileged to have you here today, and we thank you for joining us. it's really a rare occasion i think in any committee but it's a rare occasion in this committee when we have simultaneously a panel of witnesses that brings together america's top diplomat, our country's top defense official, and our nation's top military officer. your presence here all together powerfully underscores the importance that you put on this issue. our committee shares this sense of importance, which is why i hope without respect to party or ideology, we will begin an open, honest, and comprehensive discussion about whether the united states of america should
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join the law of the sea convention. i want to underscore the word comprehensive. i've heard from countless military and business leaders for some period of time who believe it is urgent that we ratify this treaty. and i've also spoken with senators and some groups who oppose the treaty. i intend to make certain that the committee does its job properly and thoroughly. we will hear from all sides and we will ask all the questions as we begin the process of educational hearings on this issue. the first since 2007. the senate has seen a fair number of new members elected since then from both sides of the aisle. and our committee also has new members. so i think a thorough examination of the treaty is especially timely and relevant. some of us have had the opportunity in the past to the evaluate this treaty and even to
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vote on it in this committee. i am personally deeply supportive of it, and i believe it is now more urgent than ever that we ratify it because to remain outside of it is fundamentally directly counter to the best interests of our country. i am convinced beyond any doubt that joining the other 160 nations that are party to the treaty will protect america's economic interests and our strategic security interests. and i believe the evaluation we make over these next weeks will document that beyond any doubt. i promised the committee and the senate that the notwithstanding my support, we will conduct exhaustive and fair hearings to examine all of the arguments pro and con. now, some may ask, why now? why consider a treaty that's been untouched by the senate for the last five years and been hanging around for more than 25? well, i think the real question
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is why we won't have this discussion now. when today, we have the worst of all worlds. we've effectively lived by the terms of the treaty for 30 years. but as a nonparty, we're on the outside looking in. we live by the rules, but we don't shape the rules. it couldn't be more clear without joining the law of the sea, we are deprived of critical benefits and protections under the treaty. a few quick examples. ratifying the treaty will lock in the favorable navigational rights that our military and shipping interests depend on every single day. it will strengthen our hand against china and others who stake out claims in the pacific, the arctic, or elsewhere. it will give our oil and gas companies the certainty that they need to make crucial investments to secure our energy future. it will put our telecommunications companies on an equal footing with their foreign competitors, and it will
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help secure access to rare earth minerals which we need for weapons systems, computers, cell phones and the like. it will also address issues of military effectiveness. as our national security focus shifts towards the asia-pacific region, it's more important than ever that we are part of this treaty. china and other countries are staking out illegal claims in the south china sea and elsewhere. becoming a party to the treaty would give an immediate boost to u.s. credibility as we push back against excessive maritime claims and illegal restrictions on our warships or commercial vessels. there is no doubt in my mind that would help resolve maritime issues to the benefit of the united states and our regional allies and partners and we will hear everywhere every single former chief of naval operations and commandant of the coast guard to that effect. the treaty is also about energy security. while we will sit on the sidelines, russia and other
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countries are carving up the arctic and laying claims to the oil and gas riches in that region. we on the other hand, can't even access the treaty body that provides international legitimacy for these types of arctic claims. instead of taking every possible step to ensure our stake in this resource-rich area, we are watching others assert their claims and doing nothing about it because we have no legal recourse. and it's also this treaty is also about rare earth minerals. china currently controls the production of rare earth minerals. 90% of the world's supply we are dependent on from china. there is no way that enhances american security. we need this for cell phones, computers, weapons systems, u.s. industry is poised to secure these minerals from the deep sea bed. but they cannot do so through the united states as it is because we're not a party to the treaty.
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don't take my word for it. listen to our top companies. just last week, bob stevens, the ceo of lockheed martin wrote to me urging that the senate pass the treaty. i want to take a minute to read from his letter. he said the multibillion dollar investments needed to establish an ocean-based resource development business must be predicated upon clear legal rights established and protected under the treaty-based framework of the law of the sea convention, including the international seabed authority. other international players recognize this same reality and are acting upon it. countries including china and russia, are moving forward aggressively within the treaty framework and several of these countries currently hold exploration licenses from the international seabed authority. unfortunately, without ratifying the convention, the united states cannot sponsor claims with or shape the deep sea bed
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rules of the isa. yet, that is the critical path forward if the united states intends to expand and ensure access for both u.s. commercial and government interests to new sources of strategic mineral resources. and without objection, i'll place the full letter into the record. i also would just point out quickly that today, there's a full-page ad "the wall street journal" placed by the u.s. chamber of commerce. the u.s. chamber of commerce states three reasons, the first of which is pure economics. jobs. the united states economy depends on the passage of this. so whether it's rare earth minerals, the arctic, or illegal maritime claims, china is moving the ball over the goal line while we are sitting on the sidelines. to oppose this treaty is actually to enable china and russia to continue to utilize the treaty to their benefit and
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to our disadvantage. how does that make sense for american economic or strategic security? and the treaty is also about telecommunications. the treaty provides a legal framework to lay and protect submarine cables. i don't need to tell most people about how critical the internet is to our economy and national security. we need to put ourselves on the best footing possible to protect those cables through which the internet flows and the treaty does that. and that's why at&t, verizon, level 3 and others support this treaty. again, don't take pie word for it. in a recent letter at&t explained submarine cables provide the backbone of international transmission facilities for the global internet. electronic commerce and data communication services that are major drivers of the 21 st century global information-based
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economy. it has never been more important to our u.s. economic infrastructure and our participation in the global economy to strength be the protection and reliability of international submarine cables. the law of the sea convention particularly as assisted by the enforcement mechanisms available to parties under article 297 is a critical element of this protection. i'd like to enter they letter into the record, as well. now, let me say a last thing about the process and timing for consideration of this treaty. and i think that it is important what i'm going to say. obviously, this is a presidential election year. and it is one that has already proven difficult if not at times toxic. i do not want this treaty to become a victim to that race or to the politics of the moment. a number of colleagues on and off the committee have been very candid and suggested that they would be more comfortable if we
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can avoid pushing this deliberative process into the middle of an election. i would like to see this treaty stay out of the hurley burly of presidential politics. so heeding that advice and preferring that we encourage the kind of evaluative process that does justice to the process, i announce today that i do not intend to bring the treaty to a vote before the november elections. we have extensive hearings. we will do our due diligence. we'll prepare for a vote, but unless somehow the dynamic were to shift or change, we will wait until the passions of the election having subsided before we vote. my hope and expectation is that everyone will exhaust all avenues of inquiry and carefully consider the arguments on both sides. the contentious political season will now give us a chance to do
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what this committee has historically done best, which is not to politicize but to spend serious thoughtful time deliberating and debating all of the questions of substance. i'm pleased to see that the internet is already beginning to buzz with some discussion of this. but i will say up front, there's a lot of misinformation and there's a certain amount of mythology. so i look forward to the process of clearing up that misinformation and the mythology. as my friend senator moynihan used to say, our friend, senator, then senator clinton and senator warner who is here, famous phrase, everyone is entitled to his own opinion. but not to his own facts. there are facts with respect to this treaty, and i look forward to this committee establishing what they are. ultimately, this issue needs to be decided by the members of the committee asking tough questions of the witnesses. and not by the outside groups.
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so i'm pleased that we're going to having an opportunity over the next several weeks, next couple of months to hear from multiple buttons and we begin today with our top national security leaders. they will be followed by military commanders, including those ho are in charge of our operations by top business leaders, the chamber of commerce it, others, by treaty experts and by opponents. once again, i simply ask that everybody work hard to find out what is factual and what the realties are with respect to how this works. and so with that, i would like to welcome today's distinguished witnesses. as secretary of state, hillary clinton has worked tirelessly to advance our security and economic interests abroad. and i think everyone agrees has done a tremendous job of doing so. secretary of defense leon panetta has served with great distinction across four decades in government.
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he's earned broad respect from democrats and republicans for his pragmatic and thoughtful approach to national security. and general martin dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff has done a tremendous job in his stewardship of our military during a time of extraordinary challenge and transition. senator lugar. >> mr. chairman, i join you welcoming secretary be clinton, secretary panetta and general demps dempsey. we're very pleased and honored that you've joined us today. nine years ago, the form foreign relations committee began consideration of the can law of the sea convention designated by george w. bush as one of the five urgent treaties deserving ratification. foreign relations committee took up all five of those treaties during the 108th congress. and all but the law of the sea eventually gained the advice and consent of the senate. our committee held two public hearings and four briefings to examine the law of the sea
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convention. six bush administration and cabinet departments participated in the interagency group that helped to write the revolution of advice and consent which accompanied the treaty at that time. in the private sector, every major ocean industry, including shipping, fishing, oil and natural gas, drilling contractors, ship builders, telecommunication companies that use underwater cables supported u.s. accession to the law of the sea and lobbied in favor of it. during the more than four months of consideration of this treaty, the committee received only one negative communication related to the treaty. and that was from a private individual. none of the 19 members of the committee requested additional witnesses or hearings. and the resolution of ratification passed on february 25, 2004, without a dissenting
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vote. now, despite the families vote in the foreign relations committee, senator bill frist, then majority leader, declined to bring the convention up in the senate. so in 2012, we tried again. and the committee undertook an even lengthier process. resulting in a 17-4 vote to refer the convention to the full senate. by that time, senator harry reid had become majority leader, and he toodee clined to bring law of the sea before the full senate. . 2009 and 2010, there were discussions occurred on the law of the sea within the obama administration. passing the convention was apparently not accorded a high priority. there was no concerted effort on the part of the administration to move law of the sea as there had been under the bush administration. the obama administration's 2009 treaty priority list indicated no special emphasis on passing law of the sea.
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listing it among a general group of 17 treaties on which action was supported. to my knowledge, the only official mention of law of the sea by the president during his first two years was one line in his executive order covering ocean policy. which was issued on july 19, 2010. clearly, however, now, the enthusiasm for law of the sea has increased within the administration during this congress. the presidents of the distinguished panel before us today surely underscores this. the substantial case for law of the sea is even stronger today than it was in 2004. when i brought it up as chairman of the committee at that time. every year that goes by, without the united states joining the convention results in deepening our country's submission to ocean laws and practices determined by foreign governments without united states input.
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our navy and our ocean industries operate every day in a maritime environment that is increasingly dominated by foreign decision making and almost any other context, the senate would be outraged as subjecting americans to foreign controls without united states input. what many observe ser vers fail to understand about law of the sea is that a convention already forms the basis of maritime law regardless of whether the united states is a party or not. international decisions related to resource exploitation, navigation rights, and other matters will be made in the context of the convention whether we join or not. because of this, there is virtual unanimity in favor of this treaty among people who actually deal with oceans on a day little basis and invest their money in job-creating activities on the oceans.
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by not joining the treaty, we are abetting russian ambitions in the arctic. we are making the job of our navy more difficult despite the long-standing and nearly unanimous pleas of navy leaders, the united states participation in law of the sea will help them maintain navigational rights more effectively and with less risk to the men and women they command. we are turning our backs on the requests of important american industries that use the oceans and must abide by rules established under this convention. and we're diminishing our chances for energy independence by making u.s. oil and gas exploration in international waters less likely. and we will not even be able to participate in the amend process to the treaty which is far more likely to impose new requirements on our navy and ocean industries if the united states is the absent. we will feel these costs most
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keenly in the arctic which is why successive alaskan governors and senators of both parties have supported this treaty. in 2007, mr. powell kelly testifying on behalf of the oil and gas industry, underscored how much we very to lose in the arctic by remaining outside the treaty. he noted that under the law of the sea, the united states would have the opportunity to expand its economic sovereignty over 0 more than 291,000 square miles of extended continental shelf. much of this is in the arctic which holds one-quarter of the world's undiscovered oil and natural gas according to u.s. geological survey. he said and i quote by some estimates in the years ahead, we could see a historic dividing up of many millions of square kilometers of offshore territory with management rights to all its living and nonliving marine resources. how much longer can the united states afford to be a laggard in
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joining this process? end of quote. suggests that somehow our maritime interests can be asserted solely through robust naval power are not relevant to the real world. the overwhelming majority of ocean disputes do not involve enemies or issues that warrant military action. as at miller patrick walsh testified at our first hearing in 2007 and i quote again, many of the partners that we have in the global war on terror who have put life, limb and national treasure on the line are some of the same ones where we have disagreements on what they view as their economic zone or their environmental laws. it does not seem to me to be wise now to conduct freedom of navigation operations against those very partners that we are in our headquarters trying to pursue a more difficult challenge ahead of us, a global war on terror. end of quote.
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even a mythical 1,000-ship united states navy could not patrol every strait, protect fret economic interest or assert every navigational right. attempting to do so would be prohibitive little expensive and destructively confrontational. the decision before this committee now is whether the senate should continue to consign the united states to a position of self-imposed weakness and our ability to influence ocean affairs, despite the fact that no other nation has a greater interest in navigational freedoms. a larger exclusive economic zone or a more advanced technological capacity to exploit ocean resources. the senate should enthusiast enthusiastically affirm the leadership of the united states in this vital area of international relations by giving advice and consent to the law of the sea convention. he i thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator
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lugar. appreciate that very much. madame secretary, if you would lead off, secretary panetta second and general dempsey, if you would act clean-up. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, senator lugar. after both of your opening comments, i think you've made the case both eloquently and persuasively for anyone who is willing to look at the facts. i am well aware that this treaty does have determined opposition, limited but nevertheless quite vociferous. and it's unfortunate because its opposition based in ideology and mythology, not in facts, evidence or the consequences of our continuing failure to accede to the treaty. so i think you'll hear from both secretary panetta and general dempsey as well as myself
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further statements and information that really reinforces the very strong points that both of you have made. we believe that it is imperative to act now. no country is better served by this convention than the united states. as the world's foremost maritime power, we benefit from the convention's favorable freedom of navigation provisions as the country with the world's second longest coastline, we benefit from its provisions on offshore natural resources. as a country with an exceptionally large area of seafloor, we benefit from the ability to extend our continental shelf. and the oil and gas rights on that shelf. as a global trading power, we benefit of from the mobility that the convention accords to all commercial ships, and as the only country under this treaty
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that was given a permanent seat on the group that will make decisions about deep seabed mining, we will be in a unique position to promote our interests. now, the many benefits of this jennings attracted a wide ranging coalition of supporters. obviously, as we heard from both senator kerry and nor lugar, republican and democratic presidents have supported u.s. accession. military leaders who see the benefits for our national security, american businesses, including strongly the u.s. chamber of commerce, see the economic benefits. it has the support of every affected industry, including shipping, fisheries, telecommunications, and energy environmental groups, as well. . we have a coalition of environmental conservation
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business, industry and security groups-in-law support of this convention. and i would ask that my longer written statement along with the letters that i have received in support of the treaty be entered into the record. >> without objection. >> now one could you argue that 20 years ago, ten years ago, maybe even five years ago, joining the convention was important but not urgent. that is no longer the case today. four new developments make our participation a matter of utmost security and economic urgency. first, for years, american oil and gas companies were not technologically ready to take advantage of the convention's provisions regarding the extended u.s. continental shelf. now they are. the conventional allows

May 23, 2012 10:00am-10:30am EDT

TOPIC FREQUENCY China 7, Panetta 4, Clinton 4, Lugar 4, Dempsey 3, Russia 3, Obama Administration 2, At&t 2, Inhofe 2, Lockheed Martin 1, Lindsey Graham 1, John Mccain 1, Bob Stevens 1, Harry Reid 1, Gop 1, United States Navy 1, Isa 1, Bill Frist 1, The United States 1, Our Navy 1
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